The smartphone is better than a genie in a bottle; all you need is a simple push of a button to get what you want when you want (and you’re not limited to a mere three wishes). From funky photo-editing tools to access to the latest Korean dramas, we offer five apps every Korean American should check out.
by CRYSTAL KIM
KOREAN CELEB FACE MATCH
Available for Android, Apple iOS
It’s an understatement to say that Korean Americans love K-pop singers and Korean actors. Add that to our propensity to spontaneously take “selcas,” or self-camera shots, and you’ve got the idea behind Korean Celeb Face Match.
Users simply upload a photo of themselves to see which Korean celebrity they resemble most. The app also determines your age* and gender. And for all those number-finicky people, they even churn out a percentage of how close the match is. Within seconds, you can know if you’re the next Hyori or Lee Min-ho.
*Warning: The tears may flow when the application says you look four years older than you really are.
For smartphone lovers, it’s not just about taking photos that we revel in—it’s also all about the editing process. Smile Photo, a photo-decorating app, is the ultimate guilty pleasure for sticker picture fanatics.
The wide variety of frilly virtual stickers, the rainbow of photo frames and vast selection of fancy fonts will tickle any photo enthusiast. The cuteness of your enhanced photos will be too much to keep to yourself. Luckily, you can easily share them with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
KAKAO TALK MESSENGER
Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone Continue Reading »
Dr. Esther Oh urges the Korean American community to learn how to recognize warning signs and offers tips on how you can help someone who may be suicidal.
Did you know:
*suicide is on the rise with 36,909 suicide deaths reported in the U.S. in 2009;
*every 14.2 minutes someone dies of suicide in the U.S.;
*suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.;
*suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 24;
*more women attempt suicide, but men are more likely to complete suicide;
*90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric illness.
In light of such alarming facts and the multiple recent headlines of Korean Americans taking their own lives, I wanted to use this month’s column to talk about suicide. Like many mental health issues, suicide is rarely discussed in the Korean American community. In my line of work, I have encountered many Asian patients, including Korean Americans, who have tried to kill themselves by overdosing, hanging or shooting themselves. Patients like Steven Cho (a pseudonym).
The 56-year-old with a history of mild depression came to the psychiatric emergency room after trying to hang himself. He had been dealing with multiple stressful issues in his life. He recently got laid off from his contractor job, his father was dying of cancer, and his second wife wanted a divorce. He found himself feeling more depressed, alone, hopeless and unable to sleep well. As his problems piled up, he felt there was no purpose living anymore. Though he had family members living nearby, he did not want to burden them with his problems and felt ashamed talking about his depressed feelings. Continue Reading »
By DAVID YOO
Ever since Griffin turned 2 in May, his ability to talk has exploded. I was thrilled because I’d been starting to get a little nervous about his language development. My friends’ kids all seemed to start talking earlier than my son, and while he could say things like “Daddy” and “no,” for the most part, he’d just chatter away nonsensically.
But then the words started coming. Each day he seemed to learn a handful of new ones, and it gave me such joy to listen as he made observations staring out the car window. Truck … Tree … Bus … Bird. And it only got better. By the start of July, he was pairing words together so he sounded like a little caveman. “Whoa, FAST!” “Sun BRIGHT!” “Cheese-NO!” It tickled me to no end how he mispronounced some words and came up with his own versions of others, like instead of “open,” he says “no-pen,” and instead of cow, he says “moo-cow.”
Ready to Bloom
For Chloe Flower, classical pianist and hip-hop collaborator, it’s more than music.
by DAVID “REK” LEE
Chloe Flower loved the piano ever since she was 2. If you asked her mom, she would tell you her daughter used to dance and get really excited over certain classical pieces. It’s the kind of story you might hear a Korean mom bore dinner guests with, but there is a twist. The pianist’s latest accomplishment is working with Nas, arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time, on his latest album, Life is Good. It’s the kind of achievement our parents wouldn’t understand, maybe even frown at, but our ears would certainly perk up at. And that’s the point.
Chloe wants to make classical music exciting again. Like any serious musician, she worked on developing a solid foundation for herself before setting out to accomplish any lofty goals. She studied with a number of renowned music teachers, including Zenon Fishbein at the Manhattan School of Music, the late Herbert Stessin at Juilliard and Aaron Shorr at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
“I did a lot of conservatory training, not pop at all,” she says.
Falling Skies star Moon Bloodgood welcomes KoreAm into her L.A. home. With her just-renewed series, a critically acclaimed indie film, a loving husband of one year and a baby on the way (plus her ever-proud mom always nearby), the actress shares that, at 37, she’s happier than she’s ever been.
story by OLIVER SARIA
photographs by MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK/Corbis
Moon Bloodgood’s mother Sang Cha greets me at the gate leading into the front yard of her daughter’s Venice bungalow. I’m not surprised to see her here. Five years ago, when Bloodgood last graced the cover of KoreAm, Sang Cha was present for the cover shoot, which portrayed Moon as an elegant starlet in Hollywood’s Golden Era. In that article, Moon, then in the midst of filming What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, was reflective about her sometimes difficult childhood in Orange County. She talked about being raised in poverty with her older sister, Caitlin, by her immigrant mother who divorced Bloodgood’s Dutch-Irish father when she was 3.
This time around, the 37-year-old actress is very much focused on the near future with a baby—her first with husband Grady Hall, whom she married last August—due in early December and a critically acclaimed film, The Sessions—in which she co-stars with Oscar-nominated/ winning actors John Hawkes, William H. Macy and Helen Hunt—set to premiere on Oct. 26. Moon—pun intended—has certainly entered a crucial phase in her life and career.
As I wait in the living room, she emerges from the back bedroom after an afternoon nap. She is five-and-a-half months pregnant, her hair is tousled, her baby bump protrudes from a loose cotton dress, she’s not wearing any makeup, and she practically glows. Her skin radiates; her sun-bleached hair casts an aura; and she exudes a yogi’s contentedness. There’s so much hormone-induced magic in the room, I could spontaneously lactate. Continue Reading »